Sunday, May 31, 2015

Week Four: Rubies

Beautiful gemstones. My birthstone. Rubies. Such a treasure to hold as a stone, and the Bible says a woman of valor is worth even more! In this week's study, we're looking at these precious stones.






As we begin this study, let's begin with prayer. Pray for wisdom and understanding during this reading. Then read Proverbs 31:10-12

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.


To learn more about this verse, let's use Blue Letter Bible. In the Tools, we will be looking in the Interlinear section. Clicking on Rubies we see how this word has been used in other verses in the Bible. Take a moment to read these and note what they are comparing rubies to.

Image from Wikipedia




From Smith's Bible Dictionary:

Rubies
Concerning the meaning of the Hebrew words translated "rubies" there is much difference of opinion (Job 28:18) see also Proverbs 3:15; 8:11; 31:10 Some suppose "coral" to be in tended; others "pearl," supposing that the original word signifies merely "bright in color," or "color of a reddish tinge." (The real ruby is a red sapphire, next in value to the diamond. The finest rubies are brought chiefly from Ceylon and Burmah.) 

Spend some time with God thinking about the relationship between the Proverbs 31 Woman being described as "more precious than rubies" and wisdom being described in the same manner. How are wisdom and the Virtuous Woman alike? Keep note of your thoughts in your notebook.

Let's take this word study a step further. The valiant wife is more precious than rubies AND she fears the Lord. Wisdom is also is also more precious than rubies; is wisdom related to fearing the Lord as well? 

Let's compare verses using fear of the Lord and wisdom. Note the relationship between these two and then think about how wisdom, the virtuous woman and fear of the Lord relate to each other. How do wisdom and fear of the Lord relate to your life? What are you doing to grow in wisdom? 







With Our Children

A Hide and Seek Activity! You will need: 10-15 small red items (buttons, beads, candies, or even paper) these will represent rubies. You will also need a small doll (a doll house doll sized one works well) to represent the virtuous, valiant, precious Proverbs 31 mighty woman of valor. 

Before beginning this activity with your children, hide all the rubies around the house and the virtuous woman in a slightly more difficult to spot hiding place. Then, read Proverbs 31:10 with your children

A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies. 

Talk with your little ones about how precious a God fearing wife is. Pray together that your daughters might grow up to be such women of virtue and that your sons will grow to be Godly men that a virtuous, Godly woman would want to marry. Then set them off to find the rubies and the virtuous wife (describe her to your children and explain she will be more difficult to find). When all are found, allow the finder of the wife to hide all the rubies and virtuous wife again and allow your children to enjoy another round of searching.

Another idea: instead of using a doll, use a picture of your daughters for the virtuous woman!

Many blessings to you ladies, have a lovely Sunday!

Audrey  



Image Credits: Wikipedia and Google 

Victory Series Bible Study Week 4: The Significance of Humanity

Greetings gents!

Last week, our study discussed the creation of man and his nature. This week's study expands on that and discusses man's significance in God's plan. We return to the story of Genesis, specifically: Genesis 2: 1-25.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

This passage recounts Adam living in a blissful union with God and the perfect world that existed in the Garden of Eden. As discussed before, Adam was created in God's likeness and was given dominion over the creatures of the natural world. At this point in creation it was Man (not Satan) that was the ruler the world. Study author Neil T. Anderson draws this parallel from citing John 12:31 and 2 Corinthians 4:4:

"31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." John 12:31
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4

The significance of humanity, when elevated to Godly purpose, is thus magnificent. The Earth (as reflected in perfect Eden) is humanity's birthright, gift and purpose from our creator. It is not Satan's and never was meant to be. This is the primary lesson I've taken from this week's study.

This week also calls attention to the creation of Eve. Eve was created as Adam's helper, wife and other half meant to fulfill him and make complete. She and Adam were naked and unashamed, innocent and sinless, and fulfilled in union with each other and God. Adam and Eve prior to the fall were THE example of what a happy marriage should be: husband and wife supporting each other, blissfully in union with each other and God. Anderson puts it even more eloquently: "Each of us is a reflection of our creator. Our existence has meaning, and we maintain that significance as long as we maintain intimately connected to the source of all life."

Questions we should ask ourselves when reflecting over the coming week: 
- Why was Adam significant? What was his mission assigned to him by God?
- How does the sense of safety, significance and security that was evident in Eden differ from the world that exists today? What has changed?
- What was the purpose of humanity when originally created? Has it changed as well?
- What does it mean to you to "fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen?" (2 Corinthians 4:18)
- Do you personally feel safe, secure, and significant? Why or why not?

I hope these questions give everyone pause for thought as you go about your week. Stay safe, everyone!
Hunter

Friday, May 29, 2015

Week Four Wrap Up and Intro to Week Five: Budgeting

As we wrap up Routines, I hope you all have had a more peaceful week. While our Mission Statements are our foundation, helping us to stay focused on God, our routines can be our stability in our days. The two working together can create such a harmony and can bring a family together on projects and daily life! I hope these posts continue to encourage you ladies.


Budgets are our next focus in our challenge. I find having a budget that everyone understands and is a part of brings peace to a home. God tells us that we need to keep records

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
    give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure forever,
    and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
    and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
    and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
    and to nourish your female servants.

Proverbs 27:23-27

This week, we'll look at how to create a simple and basic budget, ideas for saving, and how to make it work for your family. Be encouraged ladies! You are all doing amazing jobs in your homes and are incredible women of God <3

Blessings,

Audrey

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week Four: Routines For All Day Long

Routines. Children thrive on them while parents cringe trying to create them. There are many ways to create them and I will show you only one possibility among many here today.

Before we begin, grab your Personal and Family Mission Statements, some paper and a pen or pencil. Clear yourself some space where you can have a few moments of peace to work. Then take a moment to pray. Ask God that he will help you in your work and lead you to what is best for your family in his mission.


The key for this week is Simplicity. God does not call us to be involved in every activity or perfect in every task. Keeping simplicity in mind helps us to weed through our "to do" list and focus on efficiency and a "job well done" as opposed to rushing constantly and attempting perfection.

I structure my routines this way and will be walking you through my process. Please sweet ladies, do not feel overwhelmed or inadequate. We are all doing the best we can and focusing on God and his mission in our lives and our families is what is most important (not who's home is the cleanest).


I begin with writing out my Weekly Routine. I first include items I know will not move their date. For example: Church is always on Sunday and DH always has a meeting on Monday. These items I write on their specific days then in a second area titled, I write out the items that are done once a week but not always on the same day: grocery shopping, cleaning out the car, washing linens, etc.

Next comes a group of Routines: Morning, Afternoon and Evening. I first begin with Morning and Evening, writing up the routines for when we first get up and before we go to bed. For us this includes (not necessarily in this order):

When we get up: Make bed, get dressed, wash face, brush teeth, do hair and makeup, tidy room, do devotional

Before Bed: Tidy up, wash face, change to pjs, brush hair, brush teeth, devotional, songs, prayer


From here I move to chores. This is when I may need to go back and add a few items to my Weekly Routine. I like to keep activities and chores separate when I write up my lists as I find it helps me focus better. I will first make a list of all the chores I would like to accomplish, then mark by them if I need to do them daily or weekly or even monthly (ie. sweeping may need to be done daily but mopping only weekly). The chores that are weekly, I immediately add to this section of my routines.

For daily chores, I consider the practicality of our home. For me, it makes sense to start a load of laundry during the morning, switch it over in the afternoon and fold it and put away in the evening (you can see I just broke a chore into chunks throughout my day, this helps me stay on task and motivated personally). Consider how your family functions when deciding which chores should be done throughout your day.


For the monthly chores, I break them down into chunks as best I can and add chunks to my weekly routines. I'll mention more on this later.

I am not homeschooling yet, but if I was, I would now begin thinking about morning, afternoon and evening routines for school. The same for work (I'm blessed that most of my work or writing can be done in the evening so I only have that to add). Take a few moments here, again considering if certain children do better with certain subjects in the morning versus the afternoon and if you feel more productive getting work done in the morning versus the evening.

Lastly, similar to when we were working on our weekly routines, is our "we can't change it" parts of our day. Breakfast always comes in the morning, dinner always the evening, etc. Write these out quickly for your reference.

Now we structure. Begin writing out your Morning Routines beginning with your When I Get Out of Bed routine and flowing through your day. Mine looks like this roughly:

When I get out of bed routine
Make breakfast
Eat breakfast
Clean up kitchen
Start laundry
Other morning chores (sweeping, cat, cleaning one room task)

Do the same for each the Afternoon Routine and the Evening Routines.


You might notice that I listed "cleaning one room task". I like to clean one room each day of the week and deep clean one room weekly. Since it would be overwhelming for me to try to do the deep clean all in one day, I break it up into manageable pieces to do throughout the week. I structure my monthly maintenance tasks the same way (cleaning gutters, flipping mattresses, washing pillows etc).

Once you have your basic Daily Routine structured, you can begin to work it around your weekly routines. Each day is different, be flexible. It's not important that you get every task done. Having a goal and working towards it is what counts.

As we wrap up, be sure to note on your Weekly structure time to spend with your hubby, time to take care of yourself, time for family meetings, budget meetings and whatever else may be important to your family. Be specific when making your Routines. Having it on paper for you to look over regularly is far more helpful than trying to rely on memory.

I hope you have found this helpful and blessings in your week ahead ladies!

Audrey


Photo Credits: All photos are from Google

Shared On:




And

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Week Three: the Virtuous Woman

We began this study focusing on the last verses of Proverbs 31. We learned that it is a woman who fears the Lord who will be praised and her works--her visible demonstrations of her fear of God--that will praise her at the gates. This week, we are going back to the beginning of this passage.



Kissing the Face of God by Morgan Weistling

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Before we begin, pray and ask God to allow you to concentrate as well as to teach and encourage you in this study. Then we will read Proverbs 31:10-31 thinking about this woman's activities as manifestations of her fear of the Lord, not as a means to gain his or anyone else's approval.

And now for our study. This week, we are looking at the word virtuousLooking at the link provided you will see three columns for verse 10. The first is the words of the verse (shown here in the KJV). The second lists the Strong's number assigned to each word or phrase in it's original Hebrew (this will very helpful for our study using Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). The third shows two pieces of information: the original Hebrew in Hebrew letters and then in English letters. (You will also see an icon that you can click to hear these pronounced.)

Now we will look at Strong's listing for the word virtuous. Look at the section labeled "Outline for Biblical Usage". This section tells us how the original Hebrew word has been used in the Bible. 

 She Worketh Willingly With Her Hands by Elspeth C. Young


Look at these words ladies! So many translations choose words like good, worthy or  noble character. This Hebrew says so much more! These are powerful words! Full of strength and vigor. We even see a reference to military force. How uplifting for us! We are so much more than many tell us. God thinks so highly of us and calls us to be amazing women of strength. (Also notice the original Hebrew is a masculine noun and consider how many think of a virtuous woman. She is often described is poor light as being overpowered by a man. How enlightening to see that God chose this word to describe his beloved daughters!)

Now look at the "KJV Translation Count". The 243x you see means that this Hebrew word is used 243 times in the Old Testament. If you read this section, you can see all the English words used to translate this single Hebrew word. Again, these are words of strength! This woman is no weakling as so many would have us believe. She is a woman of valor

Lastly, look at the "Concordance Results Using KJV". Here you can read every verse in the Bible that includes this Hebrew word. Skim through these verses and look how it is used! Ladies, we are truly amazing creations of God! This same word is used to describe David's mighty men of valor, think about what this says about us! God views us as his warriors as well! If we fear God, we can go out in strength to fight the battles assigned to us. The same word that describes David's most loyal, trusted, brave and strong warriors is used to describe this woman of Proverbs 31.

Ladies, every time we do a load of laundry, dishes or other chores we are fighting the good fight! (Think: were there chores before sin? There were, after all, no clothing to be washed so I think not.) Every diaper we change, every face we wash, every hole we patch is fulfilling our role to train soldiers for Christ. Every time we choose to speak with love and calm, we are shaking a victorious fist at Satan! Every time we straighten the house, resew a hem the correct way, clean the refrigerator, weed the garden or talk carefully through a disagreement with our husbands, we are telling Satan that the battle is already won. In Christ's strength, we are no longer slaves to Satan, we are following Jesus now!

When we fear God and go out to do as we are called, trusting in him and doing our very best in his strength, we are truly mighty women of valor marching alongside the woman of Proverbs 31.

By William Adolphe Bouguereau


With Our Children This Week:

Let's have some fun with our children acting out scenes of valor!

Read 2 Samuel 23:18-22 aloud with your children

18 And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three.
19 Was he not most honourable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three.
20 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow:
21 And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men.

Allow your children to find props and costumes if they would like to act out these different accomplishments of David's top men. 

Then tell them how the Bible says that the Proverbs 31 woman is a mighty woman of valor. Talk about the battles and victories she wins. Talk with your daughters about growing up to be this kind of woman and your sons about seeking out a lady like this to marry someday. 

When you have finished talking. Ask them to act out or talk about scenarios where a valiant wife can can display her God given strength and courage.

Blessing to you all and your families in this week,

Audrey

Victory Series Bible Study Week 3: The Nature of Mankind

Greetings gents!

This week continues our Men's Bible study. Building on last week's study, which discussed the nature of God, this week expands our study to the centerpiece of God's creation: humanity. The primary passage for this week is Psalms 8: 1-9.

"O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

In the story of creation (Genesis) we learned that God created man in his own image, and that mankind is to hold dominion over the world. Study author Neil T. Anderson points out that this section from Psalms both reinforces the original description in Genesis as well as expands on it. Humanity is one part of many amongst God's ordering of creation. The hierarchy essentially works as follows: God first, then the angels of heaven, then humanity, then the rest of the natural world.

However, despite man's third-rung position in this ordering, mankind possesses a quality that makes it special. It is man that is tasked with overseeing and caring for the natural world. God just as easily could have given this task to the angels, with mankind existing among the animals and plants being overseen. However, God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27), and as Anderson points out: "He set humans apart from the animal kingdom by giving them the ability to think, feel and choose. As a result, humans have the unique ability to participate with God in the shaping of their lives."

Anderson then goes on to explain the mechanics of humanity: man is created of the material of the natural world ("dust of the ground") and the spirit ("breath of life" Genesis 2:7). Man exists as a physical and spiritual whole, and that man's soul is essentially his inner self. However, since we are not the source of our life, we are inherently open to external influences that seek to mold our hearts and souls. What we take in, therefore, is what stamps itself onto our character as men.

What I took from this is that we as men need to guard against what we allow to influence us. Do our influences lead us away from being Godly men created in our maker's own image?

Additional questions for us to consider are:
-What does it mean to be physically and spiritually alive? Are they the same thing?
-In what ways do each of us possess an "inner person" and "outer person"?
-What have you taken into your heart which supplants God as the central force of your life (pride, lust, chemical addictions)?
-How can we as men take on the character of Christ?

Think about these questions and really ponder what is in your heart. Does it reflect God? If it does not, what does that say about your heart and your relationship with the one who gave you it?

I hope everyone has a pleasant week. Stay strong, guys!

-Hunter

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Intro to Week Four: Routines

How did the week go for you all? Did you and your family enjoy writing your Mission Statements?

Hopefully it went well for you and you are keeping those Statements handy for the week ahead!

Vintage Housewife from Google


This week we will be talking about routines and how to make ones that truly work for you and your family. Routines can be instrumental to keeping stability and peace in the home. Using our Mission Statements will help us to set priorities within our day and cut activities that are overwhelming us. Schedules can feel insurmountable and impossible to stick to, don't let this prevent you from trying! We may never accomplish everything on our list, but as long as we have a goal, we are moving in the right direction!

Take this weekend to prepare your mind and heart, clear a space for you to work efficiently (and maybe quietly haha!) and to gather your supplies. Keep an eye out for a special project this week as well!

Things you might need this week:
Paper
Pencils or Pen
Colored Pencils or Pens
Binder
Protector Sheets
Dividers
Calendar
Clock or Timer
Notebook

You may use all of these or only some. On Monday I will have a more detailed post and you can decide what will work for you!

Blessings,

Audrey

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Creating a Family Mission Statement

Over the last two weeks, we have discussed our attitude and role within the home. We are going to use this information briefly this week to write out our own personal mission statement and then work with our families to write a family mission statement.






First, let's gather our supplies:
- Pencil or pen
- Notebook or paper
- Colored pencils or pens

Our personal mission statements can be done on our own, likely fairly quickly. Use these links to help you refresh your memory of God's calling: Our Attitude, Our Actions, Purpose of the Home, Passionate Homemaking's Personal Mission Statement, Free Mission Statement E-book.

Begin with prayer and by listing your roles in the home. These may include: Personal self, mother, wife, educator, homemaker, daughter of God, ambassador for Christ, business woman, among other. Be specific with your list about the nature of each role. Use Bible verses to keep your focus on Him. I like to select a specific verse for my life that I would like to focus on.

Secondly, think ahead. What do you want to be known for? How do you want to be an influence? What is your main goal with your spouse, children, Jesus, church, etc? Allow yourself to dream a little!

Thirdly, give yourself 3-5 simple steps you can take to achieve your dream in each of your roles daily. This might include: regular Bible time, date nights, reading, spending time with each child, etc

Lastly, make it beautiful! Find some lovely paper and pens that bring you joy and write out your list. Keep this in a safe place away from little hands so you can use it (and we'll be doing something with it next week!)

On to Family Mission Statements!

This process includes you and your spouse and will take 2 or more hours. You will again need pens or pencils and paper or journal for this project (as well as a set for your spouse).

Begin with prayer and thinking about where your family currently stands.

Next, we move to questions. This post and this one have many wonderful questions for you to think over and discuss with your spouse and children.You may even create your own. Use this time to select verses that are important to you as a family as well and even a family verse.

After going through all of your questions, narrow your list down to your top ten priorities for your family. Use this list to write your family statement (going from list to paragraph form). This can be a long or short as you desire and may be specific, contain verses or anything else you would like.

Now it's time for action statements. Look ahead, 3, 6, 12 months, maybe even a few years and think about how you will take action to keep your family statement goal fulfilled. What steps will you take? What can you do daily or weekly as a family?

Lastly, pray and plan to review this family mission together regularly. Plan to have a family meeting once a week, go on a vacation every six months, review at the New Year, whatever works for you. Then set reminders so you will stay accountable!

For more help check out this article on the benefits of a family mission statement.

Commit these statements to God and trust in His guidance. Do not rely on your own strength.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Blessings to you all and prayers for your week!

Audrey

Shared on Modest Mom's Modest Mondays and Art of Homemaking Mondays and Proverbs 31 Wife

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week Two: The Gates

 
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Last week, we focused on the praise of the Proverbs 31 woman.  Her works honor and revere God and will earn her praise at the gates. This week, we are taking a closer look at those gates and their meaning.


Begin this time, as always by praying and reading through our passage. This will assist in opening our hearts and minds to what God would have us learn as well as memorizing the scripture.

The word gates appears in scripture 144 times. If we look through these verses and the definition of the word in the verse, we see that gates were not only important to cities, temples and homes, but are also used in reference to both Heaven and Hell. (click the links to see all the verses and definitions of "gates" in scripture)

Verse 31 in Proverbs 31 says:

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

How does this praise relate to the significance of gates within scripture? We know that the gates can refer to death, how might a virtuous woman's works praise her at death? Markets were often also held at gates, how would her works praise her there? While thinking about these, record your thoughts and observations in your journal.


With Our Children

This week, spend time sharing what you learn about gates with your little ones. Make different kinds of gates with them out of Legos, boxes, doorways or blocks and read 2 Samuel 18:4 with them.

And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.

Explain how soldiers were often inspected at the gates to check their armor, weapons, cleanliness and stature. Allow your children to act this scene out with dolls, toys or on their own.

As they pass through the gates have the "king" inspect the weapons and uniforms and appraise his soldiers readiness for battle.

Then, reread Proverbs 31 with your children and change the characters in your play. Have the Virtuous Woman pass through the gates and God as the inspector. How will she be praised? How will her work praise her? Is she ready for His battle? Will she pass the inspection?

Blessings to you all this week and have a joyful Sunday!

Audrey 

Victory Series Bible Study Week 2: The Nature of God

Greetings, gents!

Today's post is week 2 of our 30 week male devotional Bible Study. This week, we focus on the nature of God, the creator, and we build the discussion around Psalms 19: 1-14.

19 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."
The key point to take away is that God reveals himself to be a part of all life. God is not an impersonal creator who has walked away from creation. God desires to have an intimate relationship with his creation and this is revealed in the majesty of creation and divine revelation. This theme is reinforced in the New Testament in Romans 1:20:
20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse"
The key thing that I took from this is that we as men should understand that God is both the author of and hero of our lives. Men seek to be heroic and creative forces in their life, and therefore we look for these qualities in others to emulate. On this point, study author Neil T Anderson states that Jesus is the "fullness of the Godhead" and "our example for social relationships." To emulate Jesus is to emulate God, our ideal hero and creator. Like God, we should seek to be intimately involved in all aspects of our life.
Anderson closes this week's study by asking us to consider God's revelation. What evidence from scripture indicates that God wants to be involved in his creation? What comfort can you take from knowing that God is integral to all parts of your life? How does it make you feel to know that God wants you to know him? In what ways has God made himself personally known to you?
I hope these questions give you pause for thought as you go throughout your week. Take care everyone!
-Hunter